Ernst: We cannot allow our political differences to keep us from doing our jobs

The Iowa Senator is calling on Congress to come together and support U.S. troops, pass the USMCA, and provide resources for fellow survivors of sexual and domestic abuse

WASHINGTON—With just a few weeks left in 2019, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is calling for her colleagues – Democrats and Republicans – to put politics aside and work together on issues where there should be common ground, like funding the government, supporting U.S. servicemembers, passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and providing resources for fellow survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. 

Click here or the image above to watch Senator Ernst’s remarks.

Ernst also took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to outline the need for bipartisan work on these important issues and her willingness to continue working with her Democratic colleagues despite their distractions and delays.

Click here or on the image above to watch Senator Ernst’s remarks on the floor.

Senator Ernst’s full floor remarks are below:

“There are just 21 days left in 2019.

“With the days dwindling, Congress has made little progress on its “to do” list that, without question, must be addressed before going “home for the holidays.”

“This is largely due to the distractions and delays caused by the Democrats—in this body and especially by those across the Capitol.

“Let’s take the United States – Mexico – Canada trade agreement. President Trump signed it over one year ago.

“If approved, USMCA would create 176,000 new jobs by expanding access to markets and providing much-needed certainty for American businesses and farmers.

“Literally everyone benefits, yet here we are, still waiting for the House Democrats to bring it up for a vote. A vote that would be broadly bipartisan.

“Speaker Pelosi even admitted today ‘that there is no question’ that USMCA ‘is much better than NAFTA.’

“I am hopeful the House will finally vote on the measure next week before leaving town.

“This would be a great Christmas gift for American workers, farmers, and businesses.

“But it’s not just on trade deals. We’re now over two months into the new federal fiscal year, yet Congress still has not approved the annual funding bills for this fiscal year.

“These bills will actually fund the government, yet Democrats are stalling, throwing up road blocks at every turn.

“They’re failing to support our servicemembers, including providing them with the largest pay raise in a decade.

“Just recently, I was on the ground in Kuwait and Afghanistan to meet with U.S. troops – including Iowans of the Des Moines-based 103rd Sustainment Command.

“These servicemembers are relying on Congress to do their job so that our military men and women can carry out their job of protecting our homeland.

“As a former company commander in Kuwait, I realize just how vital resources are to our troops.

“And let’s not forget, Democrats agreed to a framework months ago on all these bills, yet they’ve repeatedly blocked consideration of these bills.

“Similarly, the authorization for the Violence Against Women Act – a law that is deeply personal to me – expired a year ago and remains in limbo.

“For months, the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and I worked to develop a bipartisan bill to renew the law, which provides desperately needed resources to prevent domestic and sexual abuse and care for our survivors. 

“We were making real progress.

“But all of a sudden, Senate Democrats walked away from the progress we made in an apparent attempt to make violence against women an election issue.

“Folks, we cannot allow our political differences to keep us from performing our most basic constitutional duties—to provide for the common defense, fund the operations of the federal government, and support women and children across this country facing sexual and domestic abuse.

“I plan on continuing to work with Sen. Feinstein without regard to the political winds because we have to stop playing politics with women’s lives, and our nation’s defense.

“At a time when Democrats and Republicans in Washington can’t find many areas of agreement, these are all issues where we should and absolutely can find common ground.

“I implore my Democratic colleagues to end the obstruction and delay. Work with us to fund the government and support our servicemembers, pass the USMCA, and provide resources for my fellow survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

“The American people are counting on us.”

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